Friday, May 30, 2008

(Handknit) Laundry Day

What's a knitter to do when the water that comes out of the tap is hot enough to burn, and the clothes are always steamy when they come out of the washing machine?

A lot of hand washing! (and yes, these are the clothes I was using when I was in Canada in March. It takes a lot of effort to get me to do hand washing.)

Normally I try to do the easiest thing possible and put things in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and cold water. I don't normally have a problem.


But in Khartoum, our water comes from the Nile and is stored in tanks on the roof of the building before we use it. (I've hypothesized that it both allows sediment to settle out of the water and ensures a basic supply is available when the electricity goes off, but I'm not certain why it's done this way.) The problems is that the tanks are black, and so as soon as we use up the water that's in the pipes inside the building, we're using water superheated by the sun. In this country, solar water heating works too well for most of the year. Given that any agitation would lead to felting of most of these items, I hand wash.


In an unrelated story, has anyone seen Willie Nelson's Ballband Dishcloth hat in the video for "I am a worried man?"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kenya part1

Nairobi is a beautiful place! I think what I decided (and friends concur) is that the nice things that Khartoum has are missing in Nairobi, and the nice things about Nairobi are definitely missing in Khartoum. A few examples:

Khartoum has:
  • Safe streets: you can walk at night or by yourself (within reason) without worrying about your safety
  • Crazy, but mild, traffic – many roads are unpaved and potholed, but traffic circulates relatively unfettered
Nairobi suffers from:
  • High crime rates: even trips of a few blocks require a taxi to avoid robbery
  • Heavy traffic, which can add hours to a commute time, especially with a number of crumbling roads
Khartoum suffers from:
  • Hot, dry climate, which goes beyond my comfort levels
  • Brown, with few public spaces. Also a lot of garbage (although I admit that I only saw a small part of Nairobi)
  • A few good restaurants, "adventurous shopping", limited night life
Nairobi has:
  • Moderate temperatures, more comfortable for a (this) Canadian
  • Very green, with lots of public parks (which you can’t use, see number 1 above)
  • Lots of shopping, restaurants, bars
  • More diversity
Unfortunately, Sudan seems to have killed my picture taking skills, so I don’t have many from the city itself.


We did go to the Langata giraffe reserve, which was really amazing!

This is a Rothschild giraffe, which are only found in Kenya.

One of the giraffe handlers knew how to get all of the great photos, and he worked with us to get the photos everyone wants...

like the giraffe eating from your hand.

And a good kiss!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quick update

I'm back! After a random hunt for a computer store that might have an AC adapter compatible with my laptop, my computer is back in service!

I had planned a bigger post, but all of the scanning associated with turning the computer on after a hiatus has cut into my time. I just thought I'd point out some thoughts on blogging here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cut off

Originally uploaded by knitter_tara.

Well, I had meant to blog about my great trip to Kenya (I stayed at two resorts that I highly recommend: and, and then we had an attempted coup. And, I've been knitting! So, I've got all of this stuff to talk about, but my computer has forsaken me. I don't think it's a serious issue technically, but I have no idea how I'm going to get it fixed here. So, I'm stuck with occasionally stealth blogging from work and a colleague's computer when I can.

This is a photo fo the Sixth Cataract on the Nile. It doesn't look like much, but it is a little rapid. I drove out of town for the afternoon on the weekend to see it and go for a little boat trip on the Nile. Not overly exciting, I'm sure, but a nice afternoon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Originally uploaded by knitter_tara.

Sorry for the snowy picture, totally unrelated to the blog topic, but my computer is having issues, so this is the only way I can post right now.

If you're watching the news, I am safe at home right now, and the situation is calm where I am. I'll try to update when I can.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Another hint


Look closely... It's not Saskatchewan or the Ukraine, but I certainly did feel at home.